Grand National Ultimate History



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12th/28th - ditch 5' 6" W (was 7').


Fr 26 Mar 1926 (3.00) 4m 4f Good to Firm 9.36.00 30 £7,635 C. Schwartz

25 1 Jack Horner 9 10-05 J. Leader B. Watkinson 25/1   Always prominent. Virtually disputing lead from 7th through VB 1C but had reverted to being handy by 12th. 6th (of 17) WJ. Headway into 2nd by CT 2C. 4th ABC and still very prominent approaching 29th. Just behind leading quartet at last, took 2nd soon after it and led circa Elbow. Ran on well.
21 24 25 2 Old Tay Bridge 12 12-02 F. Hartigan J. Anthony 8/1 3 Mid-division but in touch 1C. 13th (last of main group) WJ. Similar place in field for first part of 2C (as others dropped away) and left 8th CT. Progress to join issue for lead after ABC. Headed just after 29th but disputed lead again last and led straight after it. Decisively done for toe circa Elbow but ran on.
  3 Bright's Boy 7 11-08 G. Blackwell Maj E. Doyle 25/1 1 Disputed 14th at 1st and soon prominent, 7th WJ. Vied for 6th CT 2C. Disputed lead from very late CS until went ahead just after 29th. Joined by Old Tay Bridge before last, headed & 3rd soon after it but kept on well.
25 4 Sprig 9 11-07 T. Leader jnr T.E. Leader 5/1F 6 Fore of mid-division. Badly hampered (by Cash Box) BB 1C & sustained cut to leg although did not lose too much ground. Headway to be 5th at 12th & WJ. Same position CT 2C. Further progress to be 2nd at 27th. Mistake 28th where 3rd. 5th again at 29th, disputed 3rd at last. Kept on one-paced.
  5 Darracq 11 10-11 P. Woodland F. Gurney 40/1 6 Mid-division 1st. Quite rapid progress and left 2nd BB 1C. Soon vied for lead until led on own by 13th. Sometimes joined but not headed and 3L to the good CT 2C. Joined again just after 28th. Disputed 3rd at last. Weakened.
  6 Master Billie 7 10-00 P. Whitaker E. Foster 20/1 2 Became very prominent by CT 1C, took 2nd after ABC 1C, same position WJ. Disputed 6th CT 2C and under too much pressure to stay with leading five by end of CS. Slightly hampered (by Thrown In) last and only able to plug on in 6th.
  7 Misconduct 7 10-00 Maj B. Powell B. Parvin 28/1 4 Initially fore of mid-division. Left 4th BB 1C. Still fairly prominent when mistake 12th. Chased leaders in 10th WJ. Renewed progress and left 5th BB 2C, 4th again CT. Still very handy ABC but faded to be a beaten 8th at last. Won duel for 7th.
25 8 Thrown In 10 10-11 O. Anthony H. Grosvenor 33/1 HD Very prominent until left in lead BB 1C. Headed approaching VB 1C but remained extremely handy. Blundered 14th and 4th WJ. 3rd CT 2C. A close up 4th when bad mistake 27th. Unable to maintain that position and faded from ABC. A beaten 7th when jumped right last & bumped into Master Billie. Just lost out in duel for 7th.
  9 Pop Ahead 8 10-00 V. Smyth S. Regan 66/1   Initially very prominent but had dropped to the rear of main group when hampered 4th. Had lost touch when jumped slowly CT 1C. Behind in 14th WJ. A fence adrift by 26th. Finished well tailed off.
25 10 Dwarf Of The Forest 9 10-10 S. Bennet H. Kennard 28/1   Initially mid to rear. Had lost touch with main group by BB 1C. Behind in 15th WJ. A fence adrift by 26th. Finished well tailed off.
20 24 11 Gerald L 12 12-02 O. Anthony F. Brookes 40/1   Plum in mid-division for most of 1C, if a little more prominent circa CT & VB. Disputed 8th WJ. Similar position 19th & BB 2C, left 9th CT. Last of leading group 26th. Gradually faded and a well beaten 9th at last. Continued to weaken and considerably eased thereafter to finish well tailed off.
  12 Soldier Bill 10 10-00 M. Peacock K. Goode 100/1   Last at 1st, had lost touch with body of the field by 4th. Last but two when landed on fence CT 1C but dragged himself through to continue now rearmost. A fence behind from 12th, in last pair. Gradually became further unmoored 2C and at least two fences adrift by 26th. Finished completely tailed off.
  13 Red Bee 8 10-10 A. Hastings D. Behan 66/1   Always towards rear. Had lost touch with body of field by 4th. In last pair from CT 1C and a fence behind from 12th. Gradually became further unmoored 2C and at least two fences adrift by 26th. Finished completely tailed off.
25 14R Ben Cruchan 12 11-02 G. Bennett B. Whitbread 66/1   Rear of mid-division, 11th WJ. Still in touch BB 2C where left 11th and left 10th CT 2C. 9th of leading group of 10 when slight mistake, pitched on landing & UR 26th. Remounted, finished utterly tailed off. 
  U Mount Etna 9 11-02 G. Blackwell S. Dennis 100/6 24TH (CT) Slowly away. Made steady progress to become prominent by CT 1C. Disputing 6th when blundered badly & slipped on landing Chair, jockey performing a miracle to stay aboard. Vied for a fore of mid-division 8th WJ. Slightly hampered by the fall of Lone Hand BB 2C but still 8th when mistake & UR CT 2C.
  F Lone Hand 8 10-00 A. Hedges Tommy Morgan 66/1 22ND (BB) Always very prominent, led briefly 12th but had dropped to 3rd by next. Same position WJ. Still well to the fore in 3rd when fell BB 2C. Broke neck. Dead.
  F Jolly Glad 9 10-00 E. Forwood P. Dennis 50/1 20TH Never better than mid-division, rear of midfield VB 1C. 12th WJ. Still towards back of main group when fell 20th.
  F Test Match 8 10-05 E. Martin jnr P. L'Estrange 66/1 10TH Mid-division through BB 1C but had dropped to rear of midfield by VB 1C, fell next.
23 24 25 U Pencoed 11 10-02 Lt Col F. Lort-Phillips D. Thomas 100/1 9TH (VB) Prominent early. Had dropped to rear of mid-division when mistake & UR VB 1C.
  R Upton Lad 11 10-08 M. Barthropp B. Dutton 50/1 8TH (CT) Towards rear when hampered 1st, last from 4th until refused CT 1C, ending up in ditch with jockey still up.
25 R Ardeen 9 11-09 Sir K. Fraser R. Trudgill 33/1 8TH (CT) Always towards rear, last but one 1st. Very modest progress circa 7th but soon lost position and tailed off when slowed and refused CT 1C.
  F Koko 8 11-01 A. Bickley T. Hamey 100/8 6TH (BB) Always very prominent, led or disputed lead from 1st and narrowly ahead when fell BB 1C.
  B Cash Box 9 10-00 P. Woodland R. Read 66/1 6TH (BB) Prominent, very much so in 5th when BD by Koko BB 1C.
  F Lee Bridge 9 10-05 F. Withington B. Stott 20/1 6TH (BB) Away well but mid-division when fell BB 1C.
25 F Patsey 12 10-09 B. Gore Maj T. Cavenagh 66/1 6TH (BB) Towards rear 1st. Slight progress to be rear of mid-division when fell BB 1C.
21 25 F White Surrey 14 10-07 B. Gore M. Farragher 66/1 5TH Led to 1st and still very prominent when fell 5th.
  U Knight Of The Wilderness 6 11-00 M. Cunningham J. Meaney 20/1 4TH Prominent early but had dropped into mid-division when mistake & UR 4th.
24 25 F Silvo 10 12-07 P. Whitaker D. Rees 7/1 1ST Fore of mid-division, fell 1st.
  F Wallsend 6 10-07 W. Cameron Cpt H. Lumsden 100/1 1ST Mid-division, fell 1st.
  U Grecian Wave 8 10-08 J. Morrison Maj J. Wilson 20/1 1ST Mid-division, squeezed up on landing & UR 1st. (Horse then BD by the following Upton Lad.)



Twas another of the Grand National's misty days in 1926 which was a shame for the onlookers because all-round it was a fine renewal that boasted the most finishers since 1909. The pace was very decent and in the main horses could either go it or they could not. Nothing got into the race from behind. By first Becher's there were already half a dozen or so shelled out the back whereas the first six home had always been prominent. There was joy for Aussie born Billy Watkinson at the age of forty. He was a brave, perhaps a little too much so for the well-being of his mount on occasion, and excellent rider of the Aintree course who tragically suffered a fatal fall at Bogside just three weeks later. Jack Leader, one of five brothers four of whom trained, concentrated mainly on the Flat and it was by working Jack Horner with the stable's two year olds that he instilled the turn of foot which proved vital in this National. Jack Horner would break down when in preparation for the 1927 renewal and be retired before 1928's.

At the weights in 1926 the now dual runner-up Old Tay Bridge came out 9 (pounds/lengths) superior to the very promising 7-y-o Bright's Boy, 16 ahead of Sprig, fully fit this year and of whom more had been expected but who raced with a cut leg from first Becher's and erred at the 28th so I will allow him 4, and 22 in advance of Jack Horner whose speed work was only partly responsible for the improvement upon his effort in 1925. Faster ground was likely another component. The going and the pace were extremely similar to what they had been in 1923 and the winning time was identical! Sergeant Murphy's raw figure for that year was -39, the comparatively slightly stiffer jumping test of 1926 is offset by a tad of general athletic improvement, and Jack Horner carried 12lb less than The Sergeant. Therefore, Jack Horner's performance is rated -51, Old Tay Bridge earns -29 (1 less than he got in 1925), Bright's Boy gets -38 and Sprig -41 (almost a stone better than last year when he was short of work). For the record, after a relatively bunched finish untypical of the era, Darracq merits -61, Thrown In -67, Master Billie -74 and Misconduct -78. 









Copyright 2017 by Chris Dowling